July 27, 2020
Sophia Fauser published an article on “Career trajectories and cumulative wages: The case of temporary employment” in the SSCI-listed journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility.
The article employs data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP 1994-2017) and investigates how 10-year career sequences relate to cumulative labor earnings. Specifically, propensity score matching is utilized to compare standard to stepping stone career trajectories. The former describes careers made up by continuous
full-time permanent employment, while the latter refer to careers that start in temporary employment but where lasting transitions to permanent jobs are observed after some years. With this approach, the article can add to the literature by creating a dynamic treatment and reveal how distinct trajectories effect cumulative wages, allowing are more holistic assessment of the wage consequences of temporary employment than the investigation of hourly or annual wages.
The results show that compared to workers who experience a standard career, workers on the stepping stone trajectory earn 51,461.2 Euros less in terms of 10-year cumulative gross labor earnings. Surprisingly, the wage disadvantage is observable not only in the beginning of the career when people on the stepping stone trajectory are still in temporary employment. The wage gap is also visible and even increasing in absolute terms after the transitions to permanent employment take place. These findings suggest that former temporary workers do not enjoy compensating steep wage growth in their later careers, as suggested by some previous studies.
The article is open access and available for download here.